How should we punish grandma and grandpa for opposing gay marriage?

How should we punish grandma and grandpa for opposing gay marriage?

Conor Friedersdorf, a libertarian and supporter of gay marriage who’s nonetheless horrified by the mobbing of Memories Pizza, wonders what sort of discipline the Lords of Tolerance have in mind for dissenters on SSM. Because the dissenters aren’t all white, rural, red-state small-business owners, the sort of person a committed SJW might be looking for a reason to stomp. Some of them are immigrants. Some of them are — gasp — black. Let’s lay down some rules, says Friedersdorf. What punishments are we imagining for felony thoughtcrime in refusing to serve a gay wedding?

The question I’d ask those who want to use non-state means to punish mom-and-pop businesses that decline to cater gay weddings is what, exactly, their notion of a fair punishment is. Nearly every supporter of gay marriage is on board with efforts to publicly tell people that their position is wrongheaded–I’ve participated in efforts like that for years and insist that respectful critique and persuasion is more effective than shaming. What about other approaches? If their Yelp rating goes down by a star does the punishment fit the “crime”? Is there a financial loss at which social pressure goes from appropriate to too much? How about putting them out of business? Digital mobs insulting them and their children? Email and phone threats from anonymous Internet users? If you think that any of those go too far have you spoken up against the people using those tactics?

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